Qualitative And Quantitative Observations In Education Sample College Essay

Features and Connections Between Qualitative and Quantitative Observation

Both qualitative and quantitative types of observations are common when teachers work with students. Qualitative observations usually serve a descriptive function. They can be used to describe behaviors and their contexts. An observer studies the behaviors often without preexisting notions and memorizes the events that occurred during the observation. These events are then combined into a narrative, which can be presented as anecdotal records. While these types of records do not provide precise information, they can give a complete description of the behavior and its context. On the other hand, quantitative observations focus on precise data.

Behavioral observation consists of five steps: definition of the behavior, specification of characteristics, development of recording procedures, section of time and location, development of assessment procedures. The differences between the two types lie like their results. Qualitative results often describe things that are not measured in numbers, while quantitative results provide measurable results (Suen, & Ary, 2014). As the case study shows, the first part was focused on the description of Zack’s behavior and the context in which it was happening. The second part was focused on finding the frequency of Zack’s wanderings and comparing it to average students (Salvia, Ysseldyke, & Bolt, 2013).

Part 1 of the study is qualitative as its only function is to observe and describe the behaviors of Zack. However, it has a strong connection to the second part that may not be apparent at first glance. By doing qualitative research first, the teacher can provide a detailed anecdotal definition of the behavior that is required for further quantitative research. This connection persists in other research too, as the topic of research always needs to be defined to provide precise observation data. For example, if the teacher did not make sure to exclude all the cases where Zack left his seat with her permission, the results would be inaccurate (Salvia, Ysseldyke, & Bolt, 2013).

Example of Anecdotal Observation

Mitchel is generally a well-behaved student except during the times when he was to work by himself, especially during tests. When this time arrives, he often spits little clumps of paper at his fellow students through the tube of his pen. His behavior is unpleasant to other students and distracts them from performing tests. His reactions to scolding and punishments are mild, but he does not seem to want to stop this behavior. Qualitative research over the next few days might provide a better explanation.

Day: Monday

Context: Individual written test on the topic covered in class. All the students are present and seated. Mitchel had shown interest in the topic and correctly answered questions before the test started.

Antecedents: I give out the test forms to the class and tell them to finish it before the end of the hour.

Behavior: Mitchel spends a few minutes looking at the test but does not write in it. Subsequently, he disassembles his pen and starts using it to spit paper at his classmates.

Consequences: Jerry, the student that seats in front of Mitchel, ask him to stop and I scold Mitchel and remind him about the importance of the test. Mitchel does not finish the test in time.

Note: Mitchel has shown that he is interested in the topic before the test.

Day: Tuesday

Context: Analysis of the learned material. The students are working on using learned information to analyze a text passage. Everyone is present and seated.

Antecedents: I give the instructions to analyze a specific passage of text using the information learned over the last few lessons.

Behavior: Mitchel starts to read the passage but stops midway and starts spitting paper again.

Consequences: Jerry asks me to make Mitchel stop it, and I make sure that he does not do it again after scolding him. Mitchel stops for the rest of the assignment. Mitchel did not complete the assignment.

Day: Wednesday

Context: Small individual written test on today’s lesson. All students are present and seated.

Antecedents: I explain the requirements of the test and give out the test sheets.

Behavior: Mitchel spends longer on the test than previously but stops before finishing it. He disassembles his pen and proceeds to spit at his classmates again.

Consequences: I make Mitchel wait for the end of class outside the classroom. He does not finish the test.

Preparation for a Quantitative Observation

I define Mitchel’s spitting as “spitting balls of paper at other students.” This behavior happens only when he has to take an individual test and is characterized by him disassembling the pen and using it to spit at other students. I decide to record the frequency of this behavior by marking it in a personal notebook. These recordings would be done over three days – Monday through Wednesday because they all involve individual exercises. The classroom would serve as the location for research. To provide a comparative assessment, data on two average students will also be recorded.


Both qualitative and quantitative observations are crucial research tools. They differ in their purpose but work together to provide results. Both can be done through the use of simple techniques that need to be followed to gain accurate information.


Salvia, J., Ysseldyke, J., & Bolt, S. (2013). Assessment in special and inclusive education. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.

Suen, H., & Ary, D. (2014). Analyzing quantitative behavioral observation data. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

“Erin Brockovich” Film And 2014 Flint Water Crisis


The physical and natural environments affect human life in various ways, as outlined by ecological studies. Environmental education is essential in informing individuals on how to deal with ecosystems to attain life sustainability. When discussing the environment, chief elements like soil, organisms, air, water, and solar energy have to be incorporated. This paper analyzes the movie, Erin Brockovich, and compares it with the current situation in Flint, which started in April 2014.

Plot summary of the movie “Erin Brockovich.”

Erin, a single mother, approaches a lawyer, Ed Masry, to represent her in a case of injuries resulting from an automobile accident. Unfortunately, Erin loses the case, and the lawyer offers her a job as an office clerk (Erin Brockovich 2000). In the regular filling duties, Erin discovers a pro bono case against the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company in San Francisco. Erin conducts researches on families that have been affected by the pollutions from the public utility through various investigations and interviews.

Although lawyer Ed feels threatened to sue such a huge company, there is enough evidence gathered by Erin regarding industrial poisoning of the water supply within the city emanating from the enterprise (Erin Brockovich 2000). After the lawsuit, the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company is found liable, and it is forced to pay a settlement of $333 million as compensation for the damages caused to the area residents.

Current situation of Flint, Michigan since April 2014

Flint has been experiencing a water crisis due to the presence of contaminated drinking water from early 2014 (Jones, 2016). According to Virginia Tech researchers, the water emanating from the Flint River is nineteen times more corrosive as compared to alternative sources like Lake Huron (Hanna-Attisha, LaChance, Sadler, & Champney Schnepp, 2016). Lead components pose serious health dangers to the American people, especially those residing in Michigan. Iron elements have also been found in the water, and the residents are often skeptical of whether proper treatment is done before final supplies (Bellinger, 2016).

Several public health problems, including inflating concentrations of the E. coli bacteria and the abrupt outbreak of the legionnaire’s disease that killed ten people, have been associated with water contamination. Despite the claim by the state officials that the water is safe for consumption, the class-action lawsuit alleges instances of lead poising and severe medical complications resulting from the intake of contaminated water since the switch in 2014. Due to the allegations of the failure of state officials to apply corrosive inhibitors, multiple lawsuits have been initiated, instigating further investigations on the water crisis issue.

Similarities of the movie to the situation in Flint

Manufacturing industries, especially those in the massive use of chemicals, emit harmful products into the atmosphere, including gases and metallic elements such as lead and iron (Laidlaw et al., 2016). Adverse effects on the human body result in disease infections due to various unprotected contact with poisonous industrial raw materials, by-products, and end residues of the production process. The situation depicted in the movie highlights various infections due to the pollution emanating from the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company. The company becomes environmentally irresponsible by causing leakages of chromium 6 in domestic water (Steenland, Savitz, & Fletcher, 2014).

The contamination of chromium 6 proves fatal by exposing victims to infections such as asthma, irritation of the eyes, kidney damage, skin complications, allergic reactions, and respiratory cancer, among other hazardous effects. The cancer infection of Jensen’s family in the Erin Brockovich movie is due to the negligence of the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company that causes chromium 6 poisoning (Hempel, 2015). Six hundred and thirty-four signatures confirm the accusation that Erin corrects from plaintiffs that seek compensation due to the offense of industrial poisoning by the company (Erin Brockovich 2000).

The case in the movie coincides with the situation at Flint. Just like the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company is alleged to pollute groundwater by poisonous elements of chromium 6, the Michigan state officials in charge of the water department have been accused of contaminating drinking water with elements of lead and iron (Bellinger, 2016).

The public water supplies in Flint pose health hazards to the residents due to corrosion of lead pipes while showing no efforts to shift to copper and plastic pipes, which are safer. The municipal water supplies in Michigan have also been accused of failure to disinfect drinking water to kill pathogens such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that are responsible for disease infections (Laidlaw et al., 2016).

The effects of lead poisoning are cumulative and irreversible in nature in particular among the sensitive population segments such as children, pregnant women, and fetuses. The contamination causes stunting of growth among children, learning disabilities, damage to the nervous system, and the development of antisocial behavior among the infected individuals (Hanna-Attisha et al., 2016). Additionally, excessive components of iron in drinking water, as experienced in Flint, causes an unpleasant metallic taste. The detrimental health effects of high volumes of iron are anemia and warding off fatigue.

Differences between the movie and the current situation in Flint

Although, in both cases, there is the contamination of water leading to disease infections, the contributing factors are different. The chromium 6 contamination of ground water illustrated in the movie is due to the inadequate disposal mechanism of waste products by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (Hempel, 2015). The company recklessly discards the final products, which results in leakages into water supplies. The effects of chromium 6 do not only lead to environmental threats, but they also pose serious health complications including cancer and miscarriages (Steenland et al., 2014).

On the other hand, the contamination of water in Flint beginning from April 2014 arose after shifting the source from Detroit water supply to the present Flint River (Jones, 2016). The lead poisoning of the drinking water is attributed to the corrosion of the old and outdated piping system that the state water department uses to supply water to the citizens. The average lead level of the water originating from Flint River surpasses the recommended levels of ten parts per billion (ppb) as confirmed by samples of most households.

Prescriptions on how to prevent water pollution

Both liquid and solid wastes from industrial processes act as threats to the sustainable development and environmental preservation (Yeheyis, Hewage, Alam, Eskicioglu, & Sadiq, 2013). The Pacific Gas and Electronic Company should ensure the use of aerobic and anaerobic processes as biological techniques and precipitation, reduction, and neutralization as chemical methods of waste treatment before disposal. Recycling of waste is also vital by recovering valuable materials from waste products.

Additionally, the Flint water crisis can be solved by changing the piping systems from zinc pipes to alternative copper and plastic pipes that are resistant to corrosion. The Michigan water department should consider changing its water source from Flint River to Lake Huron.


The movie, Erin Brockovich, highlights a scenario on how negligent disposal of industrial waste poses both environmental and human hazards. The verdict of the court that demands the Pacific Gas and Electronic Company to pay a settlement of $133 million demonstrates the hazardous levels caused by chromium 6contamination of water in the area. Similarly, the lead contamination of drinking water in Flint since 2014 has amounted to serious health problems and even death. Water is a critical environmental component and its safety before consumption should be ensured.


Bellinger, D. C. (2016). Lead Contamination in Flint—An Abject Failure to Protect Public Health. TheNew England Journal of Medicine, 374, 1101-1103.

Hanna-Attisha, M., LaChance, J., Sadler, R. C., & Champney Schnepp, A. (2016). Elevated blood lead levels in children associated with the Flint drinking water crisis: a spatial analysis of risk and public health response. American Journal of Public Health, 106(2),283-90.

Hempel, M. (2015). The uses and limitations of film in environmental education. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 5(2), 237-239.

Jones, C. (2016). Achieving health equity: The crisis in Flint, and what should be done next. The Nation’s Health, 46(2), 3-6.

Laidlaw, A., Filippelli, G., Sadler, C., Gonzales, R., Ball, S., & Mielke, W. (2016). Children’s Blood Lead Seasonality in Flint, Michigan (USA), and Soil-Sourced Lead Hazard Risks. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13(4), 358-59.

Soderbergh, S. (Director). (2000). Erin Brockovich [Film]. New York, NY: Universal Pictures.

Steenland, K., Savitz, D. A., & Fletcher, T. (2014). Commentary: Class action lawsuits: can they advance epidemiologic research? Epidemiology, 25(2), 167-169.

Yeheyis, M., Hewage, K., Alam, M. S., Eskicioglu, C., & Sadiq, R. (2013). An overview of construction and demolition waste management in Canada: a lifecycle analysis approach to sustainability. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 15(1), 81-91.

Guide To Healthcare Regulatory Agencies

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

This is a federal agency that is in charge of the improvements that can be made to the healthcare system of the United States, its safety, and quality (Murphy, 2015). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) is designed to help American citizens to improve the quality of their life, and it is supported by specific tools and knowledge. By means of these factors, health care providers and policy makers are able to make well-versed decisions and improve the current state of healthcare in the US (Murphy, 2015). The relevance of this organization can be explained as a critical investment into the healthcare system of the country and an increased level of safety.

Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

This is a federal agency that primarily focuses on public health and is an official part of the US HHS (Department of Health and Human Services) (Nestle & Pollan, 2013). Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) aims at ensuring that the community is adequately protected from negative effects of interactions with perilous synthetic substances and their natural counterparts. This agency is relevant for the DNP practice because it pays close attention to environmental health dangers and investigates the threats that are currently emerging in the area (Clavier & Leeuw, 2014). Also, this agency builds effective partnerships with both their local and state associates.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The core objective of this organization is to ensure that the Americans are not affected by any threats related to either security, health, or safety (Murphy, 2015). The mission of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) consists in both internal and external protection because CDC incessantly fights against all the existing attacks and illnesses and does their best to protect and support the community. The relevancy of this agency can be explained by the improvements that it introduces into the Americans’ health security (Clavier & Leeuw, 2014). CDC manages to save lives and mitigate the consequences of perilous events. Moreover, the organization can be perceived as an efficient instrument intended to communicate health information to the US citizens.

Food and Drug Administration

This federal agency ensures the safety of human and veterinary medications. It advocates for protection, security, and efficacy of the drugs that are available in the territory of the US (Murphy, 2015). Evidently, it is also in charge of validating the safety of the country’s food supply and numerous other products (including the goods that emit radiation). Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is designed to regulate the production of tobacco and its use by teenagers. FDA majorly contributes to the US efforts aimed at eradicating terrorism. The relevance of this federal agency to the DNP practice can be supported by the fact that it ensures the safety of medications and allows the healthcare providers to react to the emergent public health coercions in a timely manner (Nestle & Pollan, 2013).

Health Resources and Services Administration

This federal agency is designed to provide care to those individuals who reside in geographically isolated areas or are susceptible to poor medical health and overall economic state (Clavier & Leeuw, 2014). The Health Resources and Services Administration (also known as HRSA) was developed to help the poverty-stricken population (this cohort also includes HIV-positive patients and pregnant women) and provide them with eminent health care services.

The relevance of this federal agency for a DNP consists in the fact that HRSA offers training possibilities to health specialists and allocates the latter within the areas where the number of health care providers is considered to be insufficient (Hanson, Venturelli, & Fleckenstein, 2014). Its key upside is that it offers access to high-quality services and introduces innovative programs at the same time.


Clavier, C., & Leeuw, E. (2014). Health promotion and the policy process. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Hanson, G., Venturelli, P. J., & Fleckenstein, A. E. (2014). Drugs and society. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Murphy, S. P. (2015). Healthcare information security and privacy. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.

Nestle, M., & Pollan, M. (2013). Food politics: How the food industry influences nutrition and health. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.